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    14 April 2006
    This and that
    It doesn't happen often that I stay away from my blog for a week. My company was moving offices, and of course with Qtel that meant a week without phone and internet at work, so all I did online at home was read news, answer e-mails and check tennis updates.

    Oh yes, moving offices. You remember a fab view I had from my office? Well, not anymore. It is a wrench to lose it, of course, but my new office is 10 minutes drive away instead of an hour (or more depending on traffic). The area is beautiful and quiet, I can only hear one guy calling for a prayer instead of 3, I have an A/C unit in my room instead of the centralised air conditioning which was either too hot or too cold, never what I wanted. In other words, I am happy with the new place, and as for the lost view... I have plenty pictures taken from my old office window, and I can always go to the Corniche for a fix, lol. I will miss watching airplanes take off and land, but I will definitely NOT miss congested traffic all around the buidling, and waiting 10 minutes for the elevator each time I had to go up or down. Definitely, view is not everything. Even this view...



    The other day I had to go to the clinic for some routine checkups, and as I was sitting in the ladies' waiting room, expecting my name to be called, in walked the most covered up woman I've ever seen, even after 5 years in the Middle East. Somehow, I think these ladies avoid getting out of the house for any reason, and only venture outside in an emergency. So I guess it was an emergency doctor visit. Of course all Qatari women cover up. Most cover their face, too. But the fabric of the abaya and the hijab or veil is usually thin and light, and young girls either leave their faces open or go for semi transparent veil, muslin see-through material that allows you to see the face.. and yet it's covered, very pretty. Now this lady was wearing heavy, thick abaya and the material that covered her face... I guess it was black flannel. I don't know how she could see as there was no opening for eyes at all. She wore black gloves and I couldn't see her shoes as her abaya was so long it was trailing behind her like a wedding gown train when she walked. Not a milimetre of the flesh could be seen. I felt really uncomfortable because she sat right opposite me and I could never tell whether she was looking at me or not as I couldn't see her eyes. After few minutes of that I couldn't stand it any more and changed my seat. I couldn't resist the temptation of taking a sneak pic of her with my mobile.




    I watched lots of new movies over the week. I finally watched "Memoirs of Geisha" - and although it's a nice movie, it's a far cry from the book which I love. And having a Chinese girl play Japanese geisha - well, it just didn't look right. Still, I enjoyed the movie. Then there was "Zorro II", and it was a less successful sequel to a hugely successful "Zorro I". Full of American propaganda and of course no Sean Connery... Blah. Then, "Corpse Bride". Enjoyed enjoyed enjoyed! Totally hilarious, if not exactly what I had expected it to be. And definitely not suitable for little kids! It can get pretty depressing if the whole movie is death oriented and everyone in the movie tries to convince you that you'll die - even if it seems like death is endless fun. "Nanny McPhee" - a must see! I love Emma Thompson, I love Colin Firth, I loved the movie. And, of course, "Narnia"... well, that's one movie that is way better than the book! And I loved the faun!

    We had a girls' night last Wednesday. 4 women, ages - 30, 40, 50 and 60. Yeah I know you shouldn't tell a woman's age, but it was just too cool. We were so different (age, culture, religion, background) and yet we had so much in common. We all work, we all live in a foreign country, none of us has children. We sat outside, had a fantastic Thai dinner (I love Far East restaurant!) and lots of prosecco. The evening was great and I'll be looking forward to our next girls' night :^)

    I've got more news to share, but I guess this post is already too long. So ciao for now, and stay classy. Oh, and thanks for stopping by. But mainly, stay classy... Thanks for stopping by.
    LOL now you can tell that I watched "Anchorman", too!

    =^..^=
    posted by Bravecat @ 11:50 am  
    35 Comments:
    • At 14/04/2006, 15:43, Blogger Sever said…

      I did not see such a covered lady too :)

      А мне бойкот устроили.
      So no to a girl`s night.
      Heheh :P

      Want to speak with you some ;-)

      Be fine, tyotya!

       
    • At 15/04/2006, 01:08, Blogger Bandarof said…

      Only you Cat would do such a thing, I have to say you got some guts, but hey...what are you gonna do if she finds her photo on the internet and sues you?? looooooool I'm sure she will recognize herself, don't you think?? I'm quite curious hahahahahaaaa

       
    • At 15/04/2006, 01:53, Blogger bulandiyya said…

      Didnt she say anything while ur taking a picture to her ? I cannot believe, she must have seen it , dont u think so?
      By the way .... very nice blog... are u orginally from Qatar( sorry if that q is inappropriate, >) :)
      Greetings from Poland....

       
    • At 15/04/2006, 05:50, Blogger ku E said…

      auww... kinda scary!!!

       
    • At 15/04/2006, 13:39, Blogger Qatar Cat said…

      Sever,

      Welcome back and welcome back to my comment box! :^) Your friends are silly, so just ignore them and do what you want to do. Missed ya!

      Bazza,

      Haha well I am sure she saw me, I tried to be really discreet and everything, but at the end I said what the heck? If she makes a fuss - she makes a fuss. If not - I walk away with a perfect shot. And I did!

      Bulandiyya,

      No she didn't say anything. And thanks, I am glad you like my blog. I am not originally Qatari, so greetings back from a fellow European :^)

      KuE,

      Beyond scary.

       
    • At 15/04/2006, 13:48, Anonymous Tantalize said…

      Her physique resembles a man somewhat. Maybe that was the reasoning behind the heavy covering. ;^)

       
    • At 15/04/2006, 16:13, Blogger Bandarof said…

      Tantalize,

      Very good point, it crossed my mind but I forgot about it, notice how she/he is sitting with her legs wide open?? hmmmm something is fishy ... or not :D

       
    • At 15/04/2006, 17:59, Blogger ahmed said…

      okay i will watch these movies u've recommended!!

      mmm 50 and 60 years old girls?? how come!! :p

       
    • At 15/04/2006, 23:51, Blogger confused arab chick said…

      Sorry to hear you have lost your view.. the Sea is so peaceful and refreshing.

      As for..the lady, I don't understand how anyone can get from A to B without tripping all over themselves. It must take some serious getting used to. I've wondered about it for as far as I can remember. You're lucky she didn't make a fuss though- it could have gotten real ugly!

       
    • At 16/04/2006, 10:00, Anonymous Anonymous said…

      I dont understand how sombody can wear this ugly dress. its not even moslem dress its stupid bedwan dress. she maybe live in the dessert.

       
    • At 16/04/2006, 11:23, Blogger confused arab chick said…

      I don't understant how somebody could be so stupid as to post anonymous comments calling other people stupid for their choice of clothing. Maybe she does live in the DESERT. I'd like to see you live in those harsh conditions. Not understanding is one thing.. calling other stupid for a conscious choice.. is stupid.

      Since when is it up to you what beduins choose to wear?

       
    • At 16/04/2006, 12:46, Blogger Qatar Cat said…

      Tanta & Bazza,

      She was a definite she. A girl could tell, you know. But yeah, I see your point... It's really hard to tell sometimes.

      Ahmed,

      Movies were great, so you should watch them. 50 and 60 year old girls - just a figure of speech. I didn't want to say "women" - that sounds too official :p

      Chick,

      Truth be told, she moved with amazing ease and grace, so it was definitely not a burqa debut. I can't imagine how long she had to practice! As for her making a fuss - well I could make a fuss right back. I would have loved watching her try and prove that it was indeed her on the picture. Then again, I am sure she wasn't offended, she was completely covered, after all. Now if her face was open, I wouldn't dare try!

      Anon,

      Anonymous comments are pretty stupid, if you ask me. Critical and judgemental anonymous comments are even worse. Whatever this lady wears is her choice, not yours.

       
    • At 16/04/2006, 19:51, Blogger Nzingha said…

      the woman, common sight here so I'm not bothered by it. Its amazing how the women who dress like this can get around.. but what is even more amazing for me is how people can recognize the women in a crowd. Kids of course go to the wrong abya I watch my kids do it when they look for me (yea I laugh I'm such a good mama) but adults can recognize a spouse, sister, or close friend when they are all dressed like that. now THAT to me is amazing, especially I can't tell one person from another on most days even dressed in western clothes.

       
    • At 17/04/2006, 09:16, Blogger Qatar Cat said…

      Nzingha,

      Really? I've always thought that these clothes give a woman anonymity that I could only dream of. I would LOVE to be able to go around wherever I want and nobody would know it's me! :^)

       
    • At 17/04/2006, 20:34, Blogger SUHAA said…

      Although I do not wear Niqab. I admire it. Especially if its done from the heart & not forced on from society. I am an American born, never lived anywhere else and will say that the feeling of Hijab & Jilbaab is a good one even though i may be the only one around with one. Also, having met so many in Madinah when I did Umrah almost 4 yrs ago..my stereotypical thoughts of niqabi's was broken. they were so friendly and kind..im talking specifically of those women guards at the doors of Masjid ArRasool. Niqab has crossed my mind, and if I ever move to a muslim country inshaAllah I will have to consider it more strongly inshaAllah. Afterall, 2 of the best 4 women in the sight of Allah covered their faces. Khadijah(ra) & Fatima(ra) along with the other mother of believers..
      and regardless of how this woman in the waiting room appeared Allah knows what is in her heart so its kind of gossipish to say that she looked at a guy..because her status on Judgement Day might exceed ours all together..
      may Allah guide us all.

       
    • At 17/04/2006, 23:32, Blogger Qatar Cat said…

      Suhaa,

      Welcome to Life in Qatar, and thanks for your comment. I would never judge a woman by the clothes she wears. Any clothes. I've had my share of friends who all wore.. well, you name it, and they did - and they were all absolutely fantastic, niqab, half naked, nothing but trainers, and all the others. No judgement therefore, and yet I do wonder how ladies in thick and heavy black clothing get by.

       
    • At 18/04/2006, 04:33, Blogger SUHAA said…

      asalaam alaikum warahmat Allah(?- cuz i am not sure if you are a muslimah or not) i wasnt referring to you :-) but some of the other comments made i guess. anyways,ive also wondered about a wearing niqab that covers the eyes and still being able to see, especially with keeping an eye on children. it must be managaeable i suppose.

       
    • At 18/04/2006, 04:36, Blogger SUHAA said…

      oh and for the record..i back the comment made by 'confused arabic chick'!!! and also its MUSLIM not MOSLEM!!

       
    • At 18/04/2006, 09:18, Blogger Qatar Cat said…

      Suhaa,

      Why would you want to wear niqab that covers the eyes? I am just interested like that.
      Yes I suppose you can have your eyes covered and still keep an eye on children, but I have never tried that and so I can't give any advices.
      And oh, I am not a Muslim :^)

      And Muslim or Moslem - as long as we understand, it's OK. Not everyone here is a native English speaker.

       
    • At 18/04/2006, 09:20, Blogger Qatar Cat said…

      Oh and just in case you are wondering - yes I have visited your blog, Suhaa, but I don't support comment moderation... so I didn't leave a trail!

      :^)

       
    • At 18/04/2006, 20:18, Blogger da Angel wears Escada said…

      Why I think he/she or it look ravishing!
      Used as we are to seeing loud -in- your - face beauty all the time with much baring of the flesh and the cleavage- and little sharing, of the mind, of course; there's something to be said about the Niqab in the way that it reveals even when it conceals!
      Good on her in that she can dare to be different.

       
    • At 18/04/2006, 20:48, Blogger Qatar Cat said…

      Upstairs Blogger,

      Well I don't think she looks ravishing, and neither is she much different - most women cover in Qatar. But good on her that she carries it off with such pride, dignity and grace (I am the witness of that).

      Welcome to Life in Qatar!

      :^)

       
    • At 19/04/2006, 19:38, Blogger da Angel wears Escada said…

      Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, my lovely!
      What may appear ravishing to me might look hideous to you.
      Only wish we had more such women brave enough to carry it off like this in Longbeach, CA or in Dallas.

       
    • At 19/04/2006, 23:27, Anonymous Anonymous said…

      well, I live in Brooklyn NY and I ocaissionally see women dressed like that here. I am pretty sure they are American converts, since they are often with American men. See it esp on Friday (there is a masjid a few blocks away) and besides a Gulf woman would never be caught dead walking down the street in a neighborhood such as this!

      Each to her own, I figure - as long as she doesn't get behind a wheel in such a get-up!

       
    • At 20/04/2006, 09:25, Blogger Qatar Cat said…

      UB,

      Indeed it is. However, she doesn't look hideous to me at all, just extremely uncomfortable. And if she looks ravishing to you then she failed in her quest of not attracting attention. But yes, I would much rather sit in the waiting room with her than a middle aged lipo'ed californian with more flab on display than Xmas hog.

      Anon,

      LOL... yeah, well they don't usually drive dressed up like that. Those who drive have their eyes (at least) open.

      =^..^=

       
    • At 20/04/2006, 19:40, Anonymous Ablution Central said…

      Women in Niqab driving are a nuisance and whoever let them is party to a crime against humanity period.

       
    • At 20/04/2006, 23:27, Blogger Qatar Cat said…

      AC,

      I have to agree with you on this one

      :p

       
    • At 21/04/2006, 05:35, Blogger SUHAA said…

      hello qatar cat, i dont think i said id cover my eyes. but the whole purpose of a woman covering is to be modest, and to expose my face (except eyes( in saudi arabia for example seems attention getting in some areas over there, especially the holy cities. so thats all i meant. and about the "moslem vs. muslim " spelling, i was just annoyed by that comment that was made by whoever it was. i know you advocate for freedom of speech, i can respect that so long as it stays within the boundries of tolerance & because theres so much bashing of Islam, and the point of my blog is to present Islam for what it is..beautiful..I choose to moderate comments made. People can and DO go elsewhere to highlight the faults of Muslims painting it as if it is Islam..when its not. So I have no need for that at my spot. thats all..but thank u for visiting. :-)
      thanks for your input & asking..

       
    • At 21/04/2006, 11:41, Blogger Qatar Cat said…

      Suhaa,

      Oh I get it now :^) For some reason I thought you wanted a niqab that covers the eyes too - my bad! I guess I just understood that you wanted to dress up like the lady on the picture here.

      Moslem vs. Muslim - doesn't bother me, but bashing of Islam does, and I won't tolerate it here.

      I do advocate freedom of speech, but I do agree with you - freedom of speech is one thing, and freedom to abuse is quite another, and there is a difference between the two.

      Thanks for sharing your views!

       
    • At 06/05/2006, 06:42, Anonymous ilka said…

      well when u live in the middle east or in a muslim country you are bound to see women covered up like that. i figure if people dont want to see that then they can leave.

      why did u change your design? i liked the other one more.

      so how do you like qatar? i really want to visit.

       
    • At 06/05/2006, 12:53, Blogger Qatar Cat said…

      Ilka,

      Thanks for stopping by. Thanks for a (rather) insensitive comment, too. Where does it say I didn't want to see women covered up like that? And where should I go? It's pandemic - now you can see that in every country. So I guess I'll have to move to Mars if I don't want to see any of that.

      As for the design - this is what I like, and it stays. The previous one was a general Blogger design, pretty common.

      Qatar is wonderful. I really like it. There aren't many prospects for a woman here, but then again, I am not too ambitious.

      :^)

       
    • At 15/05/2006, 05:42, Blogger Susanne said…

      The woman in black reminds me a bit of Grimace from McDonalds.

      http://www.mckentucky.com/images/library/Ronald%20and%20Characters/grimace.gif

       
    • At 11/07/2006, 04:27, Anonymous Anonymous said…

      this lady is right to cover like this she is wearing her veils with dignity and covering her eyes properly is a good thing

       
    • At 11/07/2006, 11:03, Blogger Qatar Cat said…

      Yeah Anon, she's a stunner. Dignified one, too.

       
    • At 05/03/2007, 06:31, Anonymous Anonymous said…

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